The North Carolina Transgender Bathroom Freak-Out, LGBT Activists And Shared Accountability For An Ethics Train Wreck

rest rooms gender

Yes, the new North Carolina anti-LGBT law is excessive, dumb, an over-reaction and probably unconstitutional. More than that, however, it is an example what can happen when the proponents of opposing views refuse to listen to or respect each other, don’t attempt to minimize bitterness and conflict, and prefer to settle problems by going to war. The law exemplifies the ignorance, fear and reflex defensiveness of human beings when faced with inevitable cultural change, but it could have been avoided if LGBT activists and advocates had not demonized their opponents and used political leverage to push for extreme positions that were neither necessary nor clearly correct.

North Carolina’s conservatives are horrified at the idea of biological males being allowed to use women’s rest rooms when the “males” identify as female, so the state passed a law that appears to allow all forms of discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation. The new law establishes a statewide nondiscrimination ordinance that explicitly supersedes any local nondiscrimination measures. The statewide protections cover race, religion, color, national origin and biological sex,  but not sexual orientation or gender identity. Whether it is intended to do so or not, this seems to say that in the eyes of North Carolina, discrimination against LGBT citizens is fine and reasonable.

Well, it isn’t, and thus the law itself is unethical—incompetent, irresponsible, unfair, unjust, uncaring, and disrespectful.

Good job, State legislature,  Gov. Pat McCrory, and North Carolina. You’re all an embarrassment to the nation.

Still, this whole mess  occurred because activists couldn’t come up with a reasonable accommodation that would still the concerns of those old fashioned citizens who think ladies rooms shouldn’t be frequented by people who can pee standing up, while still meeting the minimal requirements of the Caitlyn Jenners of the world. Best estimates are that the percentage of trans individuals in the general population is .03%, or three in 10,000. Because of a dispute over the best way to handle the anomalous sexual identity of three 10,000ths of the population…indeed less, since the lonely trans individuals who provoke fears of sexual predators stalking rest rooms are the male-to female variety—the rights of all LGBT Americans have been placed at risk.

Good job, LGTB activists!

This was never a hard issue, because if you have no options, you have no problem. FACT: there are transgendered people. FACT: they have to go to the bathroom. FACT: They can go where they feel comfortable, or where everyone else feels comfortable having them there. FACT: Whether they make others feel comfortable depends on how they look, and whether they appear to possess  external organs that are usually unwelcome in such places.

A little empathy on both sides would have been very beneficial here, but nooooo. LGBT activists insist that all someone should need to do in order to have a right to use a ladies room is to “identify” as female, and anyone made uncomfortable by that is a vile bigot. Ladies Room For Biological Ladies advocates insist that such a rule opens the bathroom doors for rapists and perverts. Both positions are extreme and unreasonable, and absolutely not worth turning a perfectly functional bathroom use tradition inside-out because it doesn’t work well for .03% of bathroom users.

Here are the rational options:

A. You can have a Penis/No Penis division, and no exceptions allowed.

B. You can have all gender neutral bathrooms, so everyone is uncomfortable.

C. You can have a special bathroom reserved for trans individuals, which is logically and financially bats, or perhaps a single toilet, all-gender rest room in addition to the groups room.

D. We can trust each other to exercise discretion, common sense, mutual respect and periodic self-sacrifice and inconvenience for the greater good, and allow that .03% to do what they feel they have to without undue interference.

I vote D.

North Carolina took none of the above, and wants to go to war over 1) the theoretical chance that someone will exploit flexible bathroom rules for impure motives, and 2) the fact that a lot of people just find transgender people, not to mention gays and lesbians, icky, and are is willing to spark open season on civil rights as a consequence.

It’s a mass breakdown of ethics on all sides, and I’m frankly disgusted with everyone involved.

 

118 Comments

Filed under Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, U.S. Society

118 responses to “The North Carolina Transgender Bathroom Freak-Out, LGBT Activists And Shared Accountability For An Ethics Train Wreck

  1. In today’s politics compromise is for the opposition, if they don’t compromise we’ll smear them endlessly in the court of public opinion; so, pick your corner, come out swinging, and the last one “standing” wins.

    Reasonably equitable compromise really has become a thing of the past.

    • What would be the objection to simply letting individual proprietors decide whether to segregate restrooms on the basis of sex?

      • Steve

        Michael in that case they would have a lawsuit against them one way or another.

        • What would be the basis for the lawsuit?

          • zoebrain

            See the Planet Fitness case. There’s a claimed right to “privacy” which means anyone seeing a fully clothed Trans person in a place of public accomodation is aggrieved.

            Alternately, Title IX when it comes to federally funded schools, along with various legal arguments regarding the ADA, EEOC rulings etc.

            Many people are calling for a “reasonable compromise”. Exactly what such a compromise is, they aren’t too clear on. How many additional fatalities would be considered acceptable as the result of this compromise? What mechanisms are in place to make sure that a policy that would be acceptable if administered by reasonable people is not misused by the unreasonable majority – such as the NC legislature. The Senate vote was unanimous, the House vote overwhelming, with 11 Democrats joing the majority.

  2. A.M. Golden

    In the real-life application scenario, I attended a convention last week that tried to designate certain restrooms gender neutral. They covered the signs so no one would know which room was which. Problem was…the restrooms were built to be gender specific, so you had people asking those who’d just come out of one which of the two had the urinals in them.

  3. Alex

    How much effort do you need to escalate from “what is he/she doing in this bathroom?” to “let’s make a stupid law that allows discrimination”?

    This feels like a game of chicken where neither side relented and ended up in a fiery crash.

  4. Other Bill

    Query: Once transgender issues have been forced down everyone’s throats, what’s the next frontier for the LGBT industrial complex to conquer?

    • valkygrrl

      Next the T finishes betraying the LGB and denies that there’s such a thing as sexual orientation and say people are really hardwired to be attracted to genders so lesbians need accept and enjoy the penises of trans-women elsewise they’re bigots. Don’t worry though, the guys are safe, it’s only women that trans activists hate. They won’t pressure males into doing anything to make them feel gay.

    • Hey shitlord! Don’t marginalize us in the LGBTAH community.

      (AH of course standing for Attack Helicopter. I’m an other kin self identifying as a Hind D, and I have ever since playing Metal Gear Solid. It’s a life choice, don’t judge me.)

        • Pew pew ratatatatatatatatatatatatat. Get to da chappah. Naow.

          Seriously though, I never understood lumping the T into LGBT, and I understand less of the alphabet soup every time they add a letter. What does transexualism (is that a word? Is it offensive? I didn’t mean it to be.) have to do with gayness?

          It seems the tenuous joining thread is that they’re both groups marginalized for a sex related reason, and by that logic, why not include the otherkin, furries and leather daddies? And this being said, I’mma distance myself the hell away from that crutch of an acronym, whatever it ends up being.

          • zoebrain

            A narrative Hook? I’m Hip.

            The reason that TI – Transgender and Intersex – is often added to LGB is simply because those beating someone gender-variant to death make as little distinction between these very different groups as the SS did between the very different groups of Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews.

            Otherkin and Furries tend not to have this problem – though some Goths have been beaten to death in the UK for being different, we’re not talking 2 a month, as we are with Trans people in the USA, or 2 a day, as we are in Brazil..

            A substantial minority – about 30% – of LGB people completely support anti-trans legislation, and a distressingly high number would gladly see Trans people exterminated. Alas, Homophobia is not exactly unknown amongst both Trans and Intersex people too, perhaps 5%. Rather more Intersex peoplw don’t want to be lumped in with Trans people, there it’s probably a bare majority.

            • So… Maybe I’m misunderstanding something here… Are we saying that we’re rewarding idiots and catering to their ignorance by grouping together people with drastically different situations and challenges in a package their small minds can understand? Because I prefer not to cater to idiots.

  5. How about letting individual proprietors decide how (if they choose) to sex-segregate their restrooms?

    Is that not what being pro-choice is all about?

  6. I see Bulldog Drummond is up to his usual level of intellectual commentary again. Geeze!

    • From Wikipedia:

      Drummond’s wartime experience had given him a series of abilities akin to that of a hunter: stealth—”he could move over ground without a single blade of grass rustling”—and the ability to incapacitate others—”he could kill a man with his bare hands in a second” During his time on the Western Front he would take himself on solitary raids through no man’s land. Drummond was also proficient in jujutsu and boxing, was a crack shot, played cricket for the Free Foresters, and was an excellent poker player. In addition to Drummond’s physical attributes is his common sense, which allows him to equal and beat his opponents, even if they have a superior intellect.

      Drummond is characterised as large, very strong, physically unattractive and an “apparently brainless hunk of a man”. He is six feet tall, weighs around 14 stone, and has a “cheerful type of ugliness which inspires immediate confidence in its owner”. He is also … “a brutalized ex-officer whose thirst for excitement is also an attempt to reenact the war”, although the character was later described by Cecil Day-Lewis as an “unspeakable public school bully”.

  7. Other Bill

    In so far as there is a war on women, why don’t we declare a truce and let women decide who gets to use their restrooms?

    • pennagain

      You are making a strange assumption, I think, that women will necessarily agree. Far from it. More likely there will be an escalation in the quiet-but-vicious war already being fought on the toilet front in bathrooms across America between those women who balk at even having another woman hear them peeing, and those who really don’t care who’s washing their hands or using the urinal outside the stall they’re sitting in as long as they have enough toilet paper.

  8. valkygrrl

    I like A but it need not be so extreme, you could have an objective third party like a psychiatrist decide if someone is trans or not and sufficiently transitioned to change the facilities they use. In the old days transsexuals had carry letters they could use if they were unfortunate enough to be questioned about their choice of bathroom. Of course in the old days these people were assumed to be surgery tracked and unwilling to display their penises to strangers for a sexual thrill. Those days are long gone, now trans activists are all about protecting the right of crossdressing peepers and flashers to use unwilling women to get their thrills.

    • It’s amazing…. even when we agree in principle, it’s like you find the most ignorant and toxic way to possibly assert yourself, and it makes me take a step back and re-evaluate my position.

      Your answer is to have psychiatrists on hand to determine whether someone is legitimately trans enough to pee with their identified gender? And you feel this is less extreme than a penis/no penis rule? Jesus Christ.

      Gender is a social construct, right Valky? What do you care who pees near you?

      • I thought she was kidding. Please say she was kidding.

      • valkygrrl

        Gender is a social construct, sex is not. The purpose of dividing things was always penis/no penis not skirt or pants. I understand that there are people who intend surgical sex reassignment but have no yet had the procedure.

        The compromise is to give a pass to people who have a doctor’s note instead of relying on ‘I say so.’

        Of course those people are often used as a shield while hardly ever being the problem. http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Secret-Recording-Store-Mall-Antelope-Valley-Palmdale-Restroom-207541101.html this is the problem. Note the complaint, a man in the ladies room, it was then that they found the camera.

        • valkygrrl said, “Gender is a social construct, sex is not.”

          You and Zoe Brian should get together for a conversation.

          • zoebrain

            Oh we have done, many times. We disagree on a lot.

            Sex is a social construct too – the exact same objective physical facts regarding anatomy are interpreted as male in some places, female in others. The facts don’t change, the interpretations do.

            Valkygirl has a purely Trans Feminist view, and in that domain, her views are logical, consistant and plausible. My own view includes Intersex issues though, hence the inconsistencies.

            • valkygrrl

              I don’t think I’ve ever heard my views called Trans Feminist but okay, I’ll cop to whatever that is.

              By the way I’ll probably be going to the Nebulas again if you have more messages you want me to pass on.

              • zoebrain

                Thanks, if David Gerrold is in attendance, please give him my regards – and BTW this is an excellent example of how two reasonable people who vehemently disagree with one another can behave not just with courtesy, but with kindness, Well, at least Valkygirl has shown kindness, I’ll try to follow her example.

                • valkygrrl

                  Someday, and that day may never come, I’ll call upon you to do a service for me.

                  And though I’ll watch for his name on the list I doubt Gerrold be there, don’t see many screenwriters walking around. I did get to see Liu Cixin last time though, that was a treat since he hardly ever leaves China. Did Iron Rose show you the photos I emailed her last year?

                • valkygrrl

                  Though if you want to start the kindness with a small gesture, valkygrrl has two r’s, a lowercase v and no i.

                  • pennagain

                    If anyone thinks David Gerrold is superfluous to this post, by the way, I would mention that his Moonstar Odyssey written away back in 1970-something was the first book to explore the concept (and complications) of adolescents experimenting with being other genders, understanding them from the inside out before arriving at their own identities. Many of his ideas have, then and since, tweaked my own thinking . . . . not least one of the most (arguably? nah) popular tv episodes of all time, Star Trek’s: “The Trouble with Tribbles.”

        • zoebrain

          Of course those people are often used as a shield while hardly ever being the problem. http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Secret-Recording-Store-Mall-Antelope-Valley-Palmdale-Restroom-207541101.html this is the problem.

          Since LA has similar laws to Charlotte’s – why was he arrested? Could it be that, as proponents of the Charlotte ordnance state, that such laws don’t actually legally allow perverts into restrooms after all? Opponents say that this arrest couldn’t happen. That was the whole “justification” for the first Special Session in 34 years, and only giving legislators 5 minutes to read the bill for the first time before voting on it.

          • valkygrrl

            And yet without the complaint about a man in the ladies room would he have been arrested?

            Are women to have to evacuate the restroom every time a male enters if they want to be safe? Shall they stand aside and wait every time a male gets it in their head to go in there? And why do you say he, does not trans ideology require anyone wearing “women’s clothing” to prima facia be considered a woman? Must women not be perfectly happy when this trans woman comes into the bathroom or far more importantly, the locker room?

      • Steve

        Why shouldn’t a psychiatrist be involved? You don’t think if someone wanted to do something extreme like change genders that it doesn’t indicate a possible mental illness?

        • You don’t see a problem with stationing a psychologist to clear bathroom applicants? We can’t get everyone agree that you should have ID to vote, and no we want a note from a certified shrink to use the loo?

          • Other Bill

            Hah. That’s a pretty apt comparison.

          • Steve

            If someone is going to legally going change their Gender than the first stop should be getting it signed off by a doctor. It is a abnormal thing to do, it may indicate a mental illness or it may be perfectly reasonable, let a doc evaluate. After that I am fine with them using which ever restroom.

          • zoebrain

            The NC law is purely about Birth Certificates. To be safe from contravening this law, all schools and public places will have to sight birth certificates before allowing anyone to use the toilet – and the Unisex facilities in many colleges and universities are now specifically prohibited.

            Because of the danger, you see.

            • valkygrrl

              Of course they must check everyone and not wait for complaints, the same way since drivers must be licensed all people must have their license checked before sitting behind the wheel.

              Because of the danger, you see.

              • zoebrain

                I live in a jurisdiction that has random checks of licences, yes. They do give you 24 hours to produce one if you don’t have it on you before charging you for that. Not physically carrying your licence while in charge of a vehicle, moving or not, is a separate offence from driving without a licence.

                I speak from personal experience, having to go to a cop shop with my licence the next day when I’d forgotten my purse.

  9. Neil Dorr

    “Ladies Room For Biological Ladies advocates insist that such a rule opens the bathroom doors for rapists and perverts.”

    Jack,
    I couldn’t agree more — no ethical person would make or even suggest that such an outcome was the likely or inevitable result of a more liberal bathroom policy. Oh, wait …

    “The establishments Planet Fitness wants to run, apparently, are ones where a woman can go into the ladies locker room and run into some hairy, naked guy with his dong hanging out, and she gets dinged because she objects, not knowing that he is really all girl at his creamy nougat center.”

    I realize that, in your view, The Planet Fitness example likely represents the other extreme point of view in this debate, but it’s still interesting you’d chose such a cliche fall back and then later attack others for doing the same — especially when we’re talking about the most extreme and unlikely of cases.

    I don’t know about most people, but I’m usually too occupied with my own biological functions in bathrooms to worry or care about someone else’s.

    • Yikes. You flunk elementary analogies.

      A. “Ladies Room For Biological Ladies advocates insist that such a rule opens the bathroom doors for rapists and perverts.”

      B. “The establishments Planet Fitness wants to run, apparently, are ones where a woman can go into the ladies locker room and run into some hairy, naked guy with his dong hanging out, and she gets dinged because she objects, not knowing that he is really all girl at his creamy nougat center.”

      Statement A: Rest rooms. Toilet stalls. Typically 5 minute stay or less. Fear of men posing as a women to rape and molest with no statistical justification whatsoever.

      Statement B: Locker rooms. Group showers. Nudity. People changing clothes. Typically 10-15 minute stay. Discomfort seeing genitalia of the opposite sex, regardless of alleged justification. 100% statistical certainty that individual exhibiting said dong is, in fact, exhibiting said dong.

      Gee, those statements are exactly the same!

      Your gotchas used to at least have some substance, Neil.

      • Neil Dorr

        Jack,
        Analogies are comparisons of two unlike things using a common element as a frame. I never claimed the examples were identical, only that they relied on the same faulty premise. I didn’t intend to direct my comments towards bathrooms vs, locker rooms (I apologize for only mentioning bathrooms in my previous post); instead, I took umbrage with the cliche fall-back of some overweight sex offender bending the law to indulge his sycophantic behavior.

        Why criticize one group for using an extreme example when you used the same extreme example in a different (albeit similar) case.

        Also, what gotchas? All I did for years (going on 10) was to post lauding comments on the Scoreboard and whatever this has become. We used to trade interesting quips about ethical issues and you were very kind about educating (not critiquing) me when I missed an obvious point. It’s only within the last 2 years (I know because I save all our correspondence) that I’ve had anything substantially negative to say. We have no quarrel, you and I.

        -Neil

        • Neil Dorr

          “… used *a similar* extreme example ..”

        • Neil Dorr

          Why is the best you or anyone else can come up with is the potential danger of sexual offense?

          This argument is similar to those used by gun control advocates who only want to remove guns from the hands of criminals. As though someone willing to commit murder is going to balk at the possibility of being brought up on gun charges as well. Perverts don’t need an excuse to enter the women’s room — they’re already doing it. I fail to see how this is inclined to make it worse.

          THAT is an (awful) example of an analogy.

          • Neil Dorr

            “100% statistical certainty that individual exhibiting said dong is, in fact, exhibiting said dong”

            Certainty that they COULD. But that doesn’t equate certainty that they will. Besides, it still relies on the faulty assumption that people are mindless automatons bound by whatever is inscribed in the law. I have faith that Planet fitness or any establishment that provides public restrooms and changing places is capable or determining legitimate cases of biological males/transwomen using a restroom for comfort’s sake, and a sycophant who enters one with the intention of committing lascivious acts.

            In your example, if the man in question were caught and questioned, do you really think the manager would suddenly say “Well, he was exposing himself and making lewd comments to those who noticed, but rules are RULES, damn it!”

          • Third time in three posts you’ve cited the same argument I didn’t make. I didn’t say that a self-identifying woman with schlong is sexually offending by exposing said schlong in the ladies locker room…that’s your confusion. If she’s there legitimately, then there’s nothing about her body that constitutes sexual offense. She deserves to be there, love me, love my schlong, get used to it. Mine is not a “What about sexual predators?” argument in any way. It’s INCONSIDERATE, that’s all. It’s inconsiderate when guys do it in mens’ locker rooms. Thanks, but I don’t care to stare at your magnificent dick, sir. Have some modesty. “No scholongs in the ladies dressing room” has nothing, NOTHING, N-O-T-H-I-N-G to do with fear of perverts and rapists, and I never said or hinted it did. If you leap to false conclusions, it’s not my fault.

        • Because I didn’t? How’s that? I didn’t suggest that sex offenders were a legitimate issue in either post, and you’ve suggested otherwise twice now. Your analogy is idiotic, or blind, or desperate, for the reasons I pointed out. The issue in locker rooms is nudity, exposed body parts, embarrassment and discomfort. I’ve been in many public rest rooms, and the only time I saw anyone naked in one was was in a Russian retirement home. He didn’t have arms, either….

          • Neil A. Dorr

            That’s a fair distinction. Objection sustained.

            • Neil A. Dorr

              Jack,
              You have to admit that your Planet Fitness example does (or at least could) evoke something of a “sexual predator” image. I mean, creamy neuget center does seem suggestive of ejaculate (or my mind is just especially filthy) Added to which, that is also the first time in as many years that I can recall you using the word “dong.” But, I digress.

              None of this changes anything I said about you being right, as the misunderstanding was mine. A number of right-wing groups (especially locally) use the pervert example almost every time the issue comes up, or will at least hint at it in the same breath. Anyways, the point is: I apologize for reading another person’s narrative into yours. Moreover, the locker room/bathroom distinction is more than fair, as is the visual pollution argument. I got caught up on the wrong thing and made larger assumptions about your argument that were incorrect.

              Cheers.

              • I can say with absolute honesty that a sexual innuendo was the last think on my mind when I wrote “creamy nougat center.” I was thinking of candy, and the entire premise behind an individual saying, let’s presume with accuracy and sincerity, to justify their right to use a ladies dressing room, that whatever puppy dog tails and snails their outward appearance may suggest, deep down they were sugar and spice and everything nice.

                I swear. And now you have ME thinking dirty.

  10. zoebrain

    Just remember that Trans kids lives are at stake here.

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00918369.2016.1157998?journalCode=wjhm20&

    Transgender and gender non-conforming people frequently experience discrimination, harassment, and marginalization across college and university campuses (Bilodeau, 2007; Finger, 2010; Rankin, et al., 2010; Seelman et al., 2012). The minority stress model (Meyer, 2007) posits that experiences of discrimination often negatively impact the psychological well-being of minority groups. However, few scholars have examined whether college institutional climate factors—such as being denied access to bathrooms or gender-appropriate campus housing—are significantly associated with detrimental psychological outcomes for transgender people. Using the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, this study analyzes whether being denied access to these spaces is associated with lifetime suicide attempts, after controlling for interpersonal victimization by students or teachers. Findings from sequential logistic regression (N = 2,316) indicate that denial of access to either space had a significant relationship to suicidality, even after controlling for interpersonal victimization. This paper discusses implications for higher education professionals and researchers.

    The lives of a handful vs the “feels” of the many. That’s the choice here.

    Hence the rather hard-line view of some, quite possibly including myself. I’d rather have (literally) a million feel mild discomfort than a dozen try to kill themselves. I think actual lives are more important.

    • zoebrain

      But of course I’m biased – I’d be one of those women forced to use male restrooms by this new law. The correction to my birth certificate requires a new law to be promulgated in the Australian Capital Territory, then some bureaucratic machinations in the UK. The new law was passed last week, but has yet to be put into force, a process that should be complete by the end of the year.

      That illustrates the bizarre nature of this NC law. Which “biological sex” you are according to this law depends on which state or country you were born in, and which state or country you currently reside in.

  11. zoebrain

    It could be worse – this poor woman is in a similar situation, but hasn’t managed to persuade the powers-that-be that the Law is A Ass.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3370261/Mother-five-accidentally-registered-boy-birth-reveals-s-spent-150-000-trying-mistake-corrected-hasn-t-managed-it.html

  12. I have a simple solution. There are two bathrooms, one for men and one for women. Men use the men’s room. Women, the women’s room. If you look like a woman, use the women’s room. If you look like a man, the men’s room.

    I simply cannot believe that it is coming down to debating matters like this. Next a national policy whereby 3-4 different sorts of bathrooms HAVE to be supplied? Oh well, I am behind the times in many areas I guess.

    Jack’s D Option: “We can trust each other to exercise discretion, common sense, mutual respect and periodic self-sacrifice and inconvenience for the greater good, and allow that .03% to do what they feel they have to without undue interference.”

    Is most to my backward, retrograde liking. While I recognize that gays and such exist now, have existed, and will continue to exist, I think that a wee bit of discretion on their part is needed. Must every envelope be pushed? must one concrete gain open up another horizon to be conquered?

    I’m going to lie down now, I don’t feel so well …

    • zoebrain

      If you look like a woman, use the women’s room. If you look like a man, the men’s room.

      Simple, obvious, rational…. doesn’t work. (DARN IT!!!!). Looks aren’t a binary. There have been many women judged “insufficiently female looking” and ejected from female restrooms. Khadijah Farmer comes to mind, though I’ll have to look up the two cases so far this year.

      http://www.advocate.com/news/2007/07/04/lesbian-ejected-restroom-being-too-butch

      I know of no cases of guys being ejected for looking insufficiently male. Assaulted, yes. Ejected, no.

      • I’d read that situation in this way: The bouncer reacted as he did because in the culture of today, when women understand themselves as victims of men’s perversions and assaults, not to have sent someone in when a woman complained of a man in the ladies room, could have resulted in a firestorm of unknown proportion. So, immediately upon receiving the report, someone was immediately sent in, banged on the door, etc.

        This seems to me, given all the conditions of our society right now, as close to normal, sane and defensible behavior as could be asked for. What is the alternative? Or, what should have been the alternative? Looked at in this way, there is none. Bouncer did the right thing.

        The lesbian, though I doubt she thought about it, and this means ‘cared to think about it’, is in my view in the wrong. This is quite simple: She desires to look like a man. She has (likely) been confused for a man 10s or 100s of times. She should know then that going into the women’s bathroom would likely have raised concern among women. She should have been concerned for WOMEN who, for whatever reason, did not understand her as a lesbian woman dressed to look like a man.

        I note here a sense of ‘specialness’ and an insistence that the whole wide world must understand me, must accept me, must adapt to me when, in fact, I am pushing the boundaries of normalcy. The world failed to be ‘sensitive enough’ to recognize me, and because the world did not I am going to attack the world, I am going to blame the world, and make it culpable.

        In the US there exists that lovely and time-tested strategy of bringing a legal action and these seem to become expressions of personal vendettas. I recognize that that is how our society functions (lawsuits to change policies and to make political and social statements and, of course, to make money if at all possible), and surely she is ‘within her rights’ to hire a lawyer, but as an observer is does not bring me around to desire to defend her or her ‘rights’ as a lesbian in drag as a man. Quite the opposite.

        I think that, going into the bathroom, she should haave shown a very small bit of consideration by, say, (this seams the easiest) putting on a head-scarf to *signal* woman. So very easily she could have avoided the whole identity-confusion issue.

        However, the wear and tear to her ego (either fragile or grandiose) is just too much. I have a RIGHT to look as I do. I was EJECTED from the bathroom. I am a self-respecting lesbian women who prefers drag and now, a**holes, you are going to pay.

        So, I re-echo what, to me, makes good sense: “We can trust each other to exercise discretion, common sense, mutual respect and periodic self-sacrifice and inconvenience for the greater good”.

        But – and I think the phrase ‘Let’s face it’ works here – this particular lesbian woman is not concerned for discretion, nor common sense, nor respect, and certainly not understanding of OTHER WOMEN who, in truth, would certainly have wanted a male who had invaded a ladies stall and was doing heaven-knows what there to have been ejected.

        Essentially, she is violating some of the basic rules of common decency and she is also (inappropriately) pushing on delicate boundaries between freedom and liberty. Her ‘liberty’ gives her the right to dress as she wants and to be as she wants. It is a high value. But she seems to me to be abusing freedom for the reasons mentioned above.

        What do you think of that analysis?

        • zoebrain

          What do I think? Well argued and well reasoned, but at this point I have to say that I’m with those Feminists who take issue with “enforcing gender roles”. Valkygrrl would no doubt be rather more pungent on that issue.

          Where do you draw the line? Insist that women have to wear skirts and have long hair, and men can’t wear kilts and must have buzzcuts?

          Not a strawman, there are societies where such rigid gender rules are enforced, including parts of the USA.

          As for the Khadijah Farmer example. this took place during an LGBT event, where non-normative appearances were common. While I admit that your accusation would, under some circumstances, have more than just a small element of truth, not these circumstances, no.

          Do I understand Ms Farmer? Nope. Do I “approve” of her fashion choices? Nope – but it’s not for me to say, is it?

          Biologically, she’s far more female than I ever will be. While I identify as female, and look rather more “gender normative” than she does, that’s not a particularly high bar. I’m female, yes, but really, really Intersex. Not something I want, or am proud of, just a peculiar hand I was dealt with by Fate. Proud? No. But not ashamed either, as many I’ve had to deal with (in the Australian Passport Office and elsewhere) think I should be.

          I had the luxury of making a decision to dress how I want, not how others think I should be. Long hair, dangly earrings, but no makeup and no high heels, skirts sometimes, slacks usually. That slightly increases my chance of being beaten to a pulp, but only slightly, in the society where I live. I don’t “stand out”, and “standing out” can be fatal for Trans and Intersex women. I call it a “luxury” because I don’t look appreciably different from many women my age, something not true for many Trans or Intersex women. If I was 6′ 4″ not 5′ 6″ things would be different. If my facial bone structure was masculinised, things would be different, for my own safety, it would only be prudent to “frock it up”, to give more strongly feminine visual cues.

          My “freedom” to dress as I wish is limited. Fortunately, it’s not a big deal to me, I naturally fit reasonably well into the conventional Gender binary, even if my metabolism (though not physical anatomy) is wayyyy out there, not male, not female, just weird. Physically, my OB/Gyn says I’m within 1 Standard Deviation of a female norm, and as long as I keep on taking hormones to suppress my overactive adrenals, then more to give an approximate female blood hormone level, that won’t change.

          Not that having an “innie” not an “outie”, and a hysterectomy scar will save me from having to use a male restroom in NC.

          We can trust each other to exercise discretion, common sense, mutual respect and periodic self-sacrifice and inconvenience for the greater good”.

          Mostly, yes. Except when you get denied a travel document that lets you back in the country. Or be informed that your marriage has just been invalidated (Since 2004 Intersex people can’t marry in Australia). Or been refused medical treatment because “we don’t treat people like you”. Or having to use a male restroom in NC.

          Tell me… what sacrifices have you made for the good of Trans or Intersex people? It seems to me that it’s all one way, though of course I can’t be objective here.

          Thanks for being so courteous in our discussion, BTW. I hope my poor skills at diplomacy haven’t caused any issues. If everyone was like you, there wouldn’t be many problems, and no serious ones.

          • valkygrrl

            What do I think? Well argued and well reasoned, but at this point I have to say that I’m with those Feminists who take issue with “enforcing gender roles”. Valkygrrl would no doubt be rather more pungent on that issue.

            Where do you draw the line? Insist that women have to wear skirts and have long hair, and men can’t wear kilts and must have buzzcuts?

            You know me so well and yet you advocate for the benefit of crossdressers, people who believe that the act of getting all dressed up makes them a woman and entitles them to female facilities because they say so.

            And shall we talk about the sexual component? Should we discuss exactly what they thing womanhood is and what gender has wrought? Should we go over to susans.org and read the posts? With apologies to TS Eliot

            Let us go then, you and I,
            Where the crossdressers spread out through their sty
            Like a patient etherized upon a table;
            Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
            The muttering retreats
            Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
            And filthy restrooms with evil smells:
            Streets that follow like a tedious argument
            Of insidious intent
            To lead you to an overwhelming question …
            Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
            Let us go and make our visit.

            Do I understand Ms Farmer? Nope. Do I “approve” of her fashion choices? Nope – but it’s not for me to say, is it?

            Biologically, she’s far more female than I ever will be.

            So you agree that a woman in trousers with short hair is no less of a woman, but then is a man in lipstick and a skirt any less of a man? You know the world I want. I want a world where a man can, err, frock it up, as you say with no repercussions at all. Certainly no violence, I’ve always been clear on that point, (yet still called a danger to trans people, figure that one out or get your friend who called me that to explain.) Free to be you and me without having to attribute preferences or inclinations to biological sex.

            Tell me… what sacrifices have you made for the good of Trans or Intersex people? It seems to me that it’s all one way, though of course I can’t be objective here.

            *Tap* *tap* Pick on someone your own size.

            What have you done for transsexuals except to marry their cause to that of fetishists? What have you done for women but to advocate for rapists to get moved to female prisons if they feel female?

            • zoebrain

              What have you done for transsexuals except to marry their cause to that of fetishists?

              See http://www.justice.act.gov.au/publication/view/1897/title/beyond-the-binary-legal-recognition

              Beyond the Binary: legal recognition of sex and gender diversity in the ACT
              ACT Law Reform Advisory Council March 2012

              The inquiry was overseen by a sub-committee of LRAC comprising Simon Rice, Heidi Yates, Roman Quadvlieg, Kate McMullan and Veronica Wensing, reporting to LRAC as a whole. As well, LRAC was advised by an ad hoc subcommittee of experts comprising Peta Bourne (ANU College of Law), Wayne Morgan (ANU College of Law),
              Elizabeth Keogh (ANU College of Law), and Zoe Brain.

              That’s one example, though it has an equal emphasis on Intersex, not just Trans. You’ll find others on my blog. The Justice Legislation Amendment Act 2016 for example was a direct result of some years of lobbying (and even involved a reversal of policy).

              http://www.cmd.act.gov.au/open_government/inform/act_government_media_releases/rattenbury/2016/act-improves-recognition-for-diverse-canberrans

              It would be a cheap rhetorical trick to say How about you?, but if you have testified before Senate Select Committees, or advised on Law Reform, or even got some legislation passed to help those you think are “sufficiently trans”, then by all means boast about it, and I’ll applaud.

              I’ve also done work on behalf of marriage equality (notably in Scotland), on preventing FGM, in getting Coca-Cola Amatil Pacific to provide child care facilities (I was late to school on my first day, as was the CEO at the time, which created a bond), and have helped a few refugees in a climate currently very hostile to them, alas. Escapees from Iraq who came in via Turkey. Again, I went to school with the Immigration Minister, so it wasn’t what I knew, but who.

              So many injustices, so many of the world’s ills, I can’t tackle them all. But when opportunity knocks, I do what I can.

              • valkygrrl

                It would be a cheap rhetorical trick to say How about you?

                Like the cheap trick of ignoring the rest of my post? Or the one about calling your advocacy for gender identify legislation good for women or transsexuals.

                Then again when I was volunteering my free time at Lambda Legal I never saw you or heard your name in he office even once. Must have just missed you, even when everyone who helped out got together to march at pride. Or was it because when I was a young woman you were leading a life of male privilege and impregnating your wife. See, I know cheap tricks too.

                or even got some legislation passed to help those you think are “sufficiently trans”, then by all means boast about it, and I’ll applaud.

                Sufficiently trans for what? For a bathroom, it’s be able to get a doctor’s note, for a locker room it’s get surgery, to avoid employment and housing discrimination, to be free from violence, to be treated with human decency all I require is being human.

                But why must it be legislation. I’m no lobbyist and I’m no person who craves a spotlight, if I fetched a book or photocopied a bunch of things for someone working for a better world I’m content to have been of service to my betters. And if I sat and chatted with someone in the middle of the night because they had horrid insomnia a week after SRS, or just spent two hours on the phone with someone who needed to practice what they learned in voice lessons, yelled at some ass who wanted to harass a “tranny” or just held someone when they cried, I am content.

                • zoebrain

                  Not that I have any right to judge… but those actions of yours are certainly worthy of applause, and at least the equal of my own.

                  I would be astounded if Lambda Legal had ever heard of me even now. I live in Australia for goodness’ sake!

                  This may be TMI, but “impregnation” wasn’t involved. Not physically possible. But that’s true for many Intersex people who can be helped with minimally invasive medical techniques to harvest gametes. In only the most extreme cases is biopsy of the glands and surgical dissection needed.

      • It doesn’t work for some individuals, agreed. It does work for everyone else, no?

        • zoebrain

          Yes, it does work for everyone else. Just like only allowing Blacks with frizzy, not straight, hair to be enslaved. The majority are not affected, only a few individuals, whose appearance is a personal choice.

          But again, where do you draw the line? Who gets to say that someone’s appearance meets the gender standard? Intersex people face this issue regarding sex, not gender, all the time, how long does a phallus have to be to count as male? 1cm – female. 10cm – male. 3.5cm? 3.49999999 cm?

    • zoebrain

      Is most to my backward, retrograde liking. While I recognize that gays and such exist now, have existed, and will continue to exist, I think that a wee bit of discretion on their part is needed.

      They should stop being so… what’s the word… “Uppity” perhaps?

      I’m sorry, that has to hurt, and you don’t deserve hurting. Even if you did, it’s not my right to hurt you.

      But isn’t that really what you meant, when stripped of all the more diplomatic verbage?

      I wish there was a way to express this without being cruel. I can’t even apologise, as while I’m really sorry for being hurtful, I have to stand by my words. It’s not bad people who are the problem. It’s good people who don’t realise what they’re actually saying.

      I’m now being forced to use male restrooms in NC, as I’m Intersex. Exactly how .. discrete.. should I be about my objections to this? I think about as discrete as I’d be if you yourself were forced into doing that, ie Not At All.

      Oh yes, other clauses of the bill remove the rights of Blacks and Jews to sue under state law. Discrimination against them is still illegal, but now you have to literally make a Federal Case of it to get any redress.

      It’s what you get when you only allow 5 minutes reading time, 2 mins of debate, and rush it to the Governor’s desk for signature the moment the vote is in.

      • I think it is wise – it is always interesting! – to try to get to the core of the issues. If the idea to be discussed is what you have expressed with the word ‘uppity’ then that word can be unpacked, with interesting result. (I think that is what they used to call Blacks who were agitating for their rights? That complicates things right there quite a bit. That is, should you conflate these two liberation struggles).

        Self-asserting, reverse-intolerant, ‘punishing’, blaming: I would focus on the emotional aspect.

        For your information I have read extensively on Gay rights because I was interested in Gay rights as a variant of Liberation Theology. I did a very close reading of ‘The Gay and Lesbian Liberation Movement’ (Revolutionary Thought and Radical Movements series). London: Routledge (1992) by Margaret Cruikshank. I see these movements as all connected together.

        To tell you why I understand Gay Rights as it has played out in reality as a form of subversion, and something to be avoided and resisted, would involve us in a likely impossible discussion that would end in rancor. But that is my position, with certain caveats.

        So, I have come to the position of making that statement: Gays exist now, have existed, and will continue to exist. There is nothing to be done about it. In my view, though, they should be discreet. Having lived in the Bay Area of California I have seen indiscretion on hormones. That indescretion, that in-your-faceness, effectively destroyed my desire to stand ‘in solidarity’. When PrideFest comes my way, I shutter the windows.

        It will further appal you no doubt that I have said, and I do say, that I understand this to mean ‘getting back in the closet’ to a certain degree. That may only mean becoming much less militant.

        Interesting, isn’t it? to present these differences in perspective in the context of the Grand Ethical Questions. You will possibly see me as unethical in the extreme, whereas I can defend my premise according to ethical standards (which I define).

      • NB:

        To “I’m sorry, that has to hurt, and you don’t deserve hurting. Even if you did, it’s not my right to hurt you.

        “But isn’t that really what you meant, when stripped of all the more diplomatic verbiage?”
        __________________

        This is another interesting area, which open into another ‘core’ that can be explored: ‘hurting’.

        I see things differently. It may in fact be true (it is possible at least) that I may require hurting.

        But I have to back up. The question here is violence. The question here is power. The question here is use of power. The question here is coercion. These are fundamental issues which ‘define our era’.

        The way that I see things, to make a decision is to arrive at an idea which MUST translate into policy. Deciding is choosing, is privileging one thing over another. It involves a certain sort of ruthlessness. If you really are going to sit down and decide important things, you have to back-burner emotions.

        OTOH, if emotions and sentimentality are placed at the forefront, one may well become incapable of taking any decision at all, simply because someone is bound to get ‘hurt’.

        My view is that our societies, as a result of certain perversions of liberty, have become excessively sentimental. This is one result of women’s pushing themselves onto the various platforms. This is also feminine subversion of masculinity. Well, it has links to that is what I mean.

        To speak in these terms, these days, on fora and such, is essentially illegal. To propose reversals of ‘women’s gains’ (or as I put it the intrusion of women’s concerns into men’s and masculine affairs) is to invite a destructive firestorm. If you have something to lose, don’t do it! They will destroy you.

        These battles extend out of philosophical and existential – and I have not used the word ‘metaphysic’ FOR A WHOLE WEEK – but metaphysical issues. All this can be demonstrated and explained, except that nowadays there are no HEARERS to HEAR. There is a whole train of ideas which are counter-propositional to the liberal trends in thinking that require weeks and months just to establish what really is being talked about.

        • zoebrain

          I agree with much of what you say, though disagree in some detail – but that would cloud rather than clarify the issue.

          I refer you to my post
          https://ethicsalarms.com/2016/03/24/the-north-carolina-transgender-bathroom-freak-out-lgbt-activists-and-shared-accountability-for-an-ethics-train-wreck/comment-page-1/#comment-385774

          I make no apology about getting really really emotional about the death of children. OK, I got emotional when some friends of mine were killed too, but every Trans and Intersex person knows someone who’s been slain for being “different”, and it’s averaged less than 1 every 2 years.

          OK, maybe some discussion of how guys get a raw deal. First, Family Courts. Kids are often given to toxic females because “a child does best with his mother”. Second, “Birkenhead Drill” – “Women and Children First”. It’s the men who still are viewed as expendable. Third, the Left’s demonisation of nonconformity with orthodoxy – a “destructive firestorm” as you put it.

          Trouble is, there are sometimes – not often – cases where such destruction is appropriate. See 1945. See Civil Rights Act 1964. .

          • I had read your previous post, just so you know. I had also (I think) understood the point you were attempting to describe.

            I have found that the persons who have most lived from ‘difference’ and under the pressure of that difference, often seem to have the most interesting perspectives, and more interesting stories to tell.

            My interest, generally speaking, is in large, philosophical and cultural issues. For example most of my reading as of late has touched on historical issues, and cultural issues, that define Europe. To read history is ipso facto to take a position well *above* it and to look down on it. One tends not to focus emotionally when one is considering larger, historical issues and questions. Similarly, though I certainly have a sentimental side, I am attracted to philosophy which is, overall, naturally abstract.

            The main questions and problems that motivate my research, and the issues and problems that arise as ‘problems to be solved’, are generally of a class that are considered ‘dangerous’, ‘forbidden’, ‘too hot to handle’, not to mention contentious and strife-laden. Usually, when a conversation moves toward that pole where emotions and emotionality need be taken into account, one is forced to bring the conversation to a close. It cannot be pushed through because people will end up getting hurt.

            I find that all conversations, when they touch on the really essential issues, will always turn back toward certain events which ‘define the age’ and a basic ‘problem’ that arises there, and in those considerations. For example, you have said ‘1945’ and thus evoked not just a date but, in fact, a whole order of meaning. Vast (a word I tend to overuse) value-issues. The question, the problem, of interpretation and value-situation.

            Its the same when you mention ‘1965’. You could also say ‘1789’ or ‘1848’ to invoke similar resonances.

            The problem – or a problem – is that I approach ‘1945’ from a likely different perspective, and similarly ‘1965’. To do so I have to ‘turn against the forward motion of history’ and, at least on a philosophical level, ‘take issue with it’ or with its driving tenets. Thus, I am compelled to and seem to gain a great deal from examining counter-propositional Weltanschauungen. At first I did not understand my own motivation and it confused me, but now I can say that I do not regret it.

            You will notice that I have taken a stance which runs counter to certain ‘propositions’ that operate in our present. It has to do with exploring counter-valing perspectives. It is in a very real sense a form of ‘suicide’ (sacrifice of self is what I mean).

            • zoebrain

              The main questions and problems that motivate my research, and the issues and problems that arise as ‘problems to be solved’, are generally of a class that are considered ‘dangerous’, ‘forbidden’, ‘too hot to handle’, not to mention contentious and strife-laden.

              I admire your courage. Someone needs to be doing that. I hope you don’t mind if I don’t join you, out of pure cowardice.

              There are already calls in NC for Trans and Intersex people to be put on a Sex Offenders list, with restrictions on where they’re allowed to live (not within a certain distance of schools, bus stops etc) as this new law states explicitly in its rationale that they endanger children. It’s a logical next step, and courts have ruled that such restrictions are constitutional in the case of sex offenders. If one accepts that there’s a “rational basis” for NC’s new law, that it’s not based on animus, then it follows this is merely a prudent precaution too.

              An “Inconvenience” for a few, that’s all.

              • In the OP Jack wrote: “The law exemplifies the ignorance, fear and reflex defensiveness of human beings when faced with inevitable cultural change, but it could have been avoided if LGBT activists and advocates had not demonized their opponents and used political leverage to push for extreme positions that were neither necessary nor clearly correct.”
                ____________________________

                The part that interests me is ‘when faced with inevitable cultural change’. What this usually is understood to mean is ‘progress’. So it happens that the Progressives understand the Regressives as ‘blocking progress’ (toward what is inevitable).

                The way the arguments are structured is that the Regressives are blocking the road to a harmonious social existence. Since the movement toward that harmony (which is ‘goodness’ in essence) is resisted, those resisting are given the role of demons: terrible entities who are retarding human progress and – if one looks into the metaphysics of the issue – retarding human progress toward civitas dei. This sounds like an exaggeration on my part but I tend to think it reflects a real truth. The Regressives say they are religious sorts, defending the canon. The Progressives are (often) declared atheists or perhaps deists or ‘vaguists’ (in any case they attend hot yoga classes with frequency) and yet they feel – with metaphysical certainty – that they are sincerely trying to move the reclacitrant conscience of man toward a progressive, harmonious future.

                When one stands back from the specificities here: the specific issues, the damages caused to persons, the hurts, and many other incidentals, one can observe the present, define what is meant by ‘progress’ and also by ‘regression’ and ‘degeneration’, and then turn back around and try to apply one’s value-determinations to reality. Effectively, this is what it comes down to: differing visions of what is and what is not ‘progress’. (I suppose all this is obvious to everyone else, but to me these definitions – seeing these things – is somewhat new).

                You may admire my courage but I am not sure if you would admire my findings, as it were. Because what it hinges upon is quite precisely differing visions of what ‘progress’ is, or isn’t. It’s the stuff of the ‘culture wars’ naturally. Now, what stands behind all that (and also ‘1789, 1848, 1945 and 1965’) is the question of Power. Who decides?

                Power is I think the core brutality. I mean it is certainly the motive behind all movement, and all decisiveness. There is indeed something ‘inevitable’ in the motions of atoms in the phenomenal world, the motions of bodies and such; time, change. But what is ‘progress’ in our social world?

                The religious traditionalists, and religious traditionalism, require a certain amount of research to understand (I assume this is largely the motive in N. Carolina’s decisions: religiously-defined understandings of sex-roles). The current of ideation and sentiment that motivates progressives is not unrelated philosophically to the conservatism motivating the regressives.

                Sorry, I can’t think how to bring this to resolution, even theoretically!

                • zoebrain

                  It’s not so much about Religion as Money. Getting the donations flowing in.

                  This law, along with the 40-odd others in play in 18 states, was crafted by the FRC, according to their playbook. “Understanding and Responding to the Transgender Movement ” at http://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF15F45.pdf

                  Therefore, Family Research Council believes that neither the government nor private entities have any moral obligation—nor should they have a legal obligation—to give any recognition to such a change. Indeed, such recognition should be actively discouraged if not forbidden outright,…

                  In policy terms, this means that the ideal legal approach would be to forbid government recognition, in any way (whether on birth certificates, driver’s licenses, passports, or any other government-issued identification) of any change in an individual’s biological sex as identified at birth.

                  Unfortunately, there is only one state (Tennessee) in which statutory law explicitly forbids altering the sex on a birth certificate. The 1977 statute declares, “The sex of an individual will not be changed on the original certificate of birth as a result of sex change surgery.”

                  According to Lambda Legal, a leading LGBT legal advocacy group,
                  two other states also refuse to amend birth certificates to revise the sex: Idaho and Ohio

                  .

                  To this end, it is important that, at least initially,

                  The concern about exposure could exist with respect to any transgender person who has not undergone gender reassignment surgery. However, the concern about such laws being exploited by predators to assault women and girls is not based on an assertion that transgender people are more likely to be sexual predators. Instead, the concern is that people who are sexual predators might easily pretend
                  to be transgendered in order to gain access to women’s facilities.

                  It’s made clear in the FRC’s (surruptitiously videoed) training sessions that this is only the initial stage, that the eventual aim is to first haveTrans people recognised as mentally unstable predators and pedophiles, then pass laws restricting where they may live – as with sex offenders – and finally to criminalise those who treat them, then transsexuals themselves. Intersex people are just as great a threat to society, so their rights must regretfully be curtailed too. For the Greater Good. And keep those donations coming in, Think of the Children!

                  Interestingly, the FRC not only quotes the notoriously Transphobic Barney Frank, but also a number of Marxist Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists, who also which to see Trans people “morally mandated out of existence” as Professor of Ethics Janice Raymond put it, when she stated that all Trans people are rapists in her 1970’s best-seller “The Transsexual Empire”. The Religious Right has only recently jumped on this bandwagon, and formed alliances of convenience with them in order to monetarise this ideology.

                  • valkygrrl

                    Who pays for trans activism? Is it by any chance the same people who’s interest is being served by laws that allow swinging dicks in women’s locker rooms?

  13. Somebody sane please explain to Neil that there is not one word in the post that justifies or finds common cause with those who fear trans individuals in restrooms, or, in the alternative, explain what it is that Neil thinks he sees and why.

  14. zoebrain wrote: “It’s not so much about Religion as Money. Getting the donations flowing in.”
    ____________________

    There are numerous levels here, and there are numerous ways in which a conversation about the underpinning issues are very hard to discuss, and also to decide. Decisions involve choices, value-assessments. How one decides (any particular thing) depends on a whole structure of predicates, tenets and presuppositions. If a person has none, or few, he cannot make an ‘informed’ decision. And should he be informed he will have informed himself through his ‘fore-structures’ where predicates, tenets and presuppositions mold perception.

    I did look up Barney Frank and Janice Raymond (if I am not mistaken she is referenced in the Routledge gay liberation book I’d mentioned) and quickly read up on them.

    While it seems to be true that the religious right may recently have begun to refer to Raymond or Frank (if indeed they do) they would do so in the context of a general idea-war against an enemy that they identify. The question or the project of ‘identifying enemies’ is laden with complexity, and though Frank may have an agnostic position, and Raymond may be a post-Catholic (who knows where she stands on religious questions but usually a Catholic, trained religiously, will hold to catholicism in a humanistic-spiritual sense and usually manifests the structure of religious belief still there, functioning), still I would strongly suggest that there is an implicit backdrop here that can be sought out, identified, and looked into. That is why I use (overuse) the world ‘metaphysic’. For example, in a post-Christian culture when structures of belief have morphed out of their original closed limits, and even when a person will say ‘I no longer believe, I am an atheist’, what they *really* mean is something more complex. They no longer can successfully define or ‘believe in’ the previous defined structure. There are too many holes in it and belief in it becomes untenable, unsustainable. So they progress into a ‘post-‘ relationship. The driving predicates are often still there, but the ‘castle’ previously envisioned and manifest, at least in imagination, as it were has become invisible.

    Causation is a relevant topic here. It looks to me as if – and it plays out in so many domains and so many issues – the spirit of change and transformation has been unleashed. What is the original cause? A question too large to be answered. Once one (successfully) breaks away from a reigning hierarchic structure or rule, one sets out on a path of change. Or one sets in motion processes of change. Or one ‘channels’ or embodies change. If there is a ‘radical spirit’, it seems to act in many ways similarly to an ‘acid’: it dissolves heirarchies and structures that have been established. It is discovered that what limitation or rigidity those structures enforce are no longer desired, appreciated and sometimes no longer understood by the subject of them. So, a ‘will’ of opposition arises, and it empowers itself through idea but also through emotion: the emotive impulse. In my (limited) understanding the emotive aspect is hugely powerful. An idea is an idea and is neither very charged nor very motivating. When an idea is attached to the turbine of the emotive, which is to say an idea gets a dose of rhetorical energy, the idea has far more power to lunge about, to motivate, to captivate, to inspire. (1789, 1848, 1945, 1965 etc., etc.)

    What I have noticed, or think I notice, is that people (culture, society, community) get captured in waves and currents of change (the ‘inevitable’) and yet in fact they are not, themselves, really making any decisions. To be able to really make decisions requires a vast preparation. I’d suggest that very few people have that capability. What seems to happen is that people are carried along by the current, as it were. There is a ‘temporal modality’ which ‘just seems right’. That’s metaphysics! It is the way we understand and interpret (even without engaging in processes of thought) our relationship to the present as current, as motion.

    The only way to countermand (as it were) the dictates of the present is to be able to come to a stop. To come to a stop is in a very real sense to turn against time. ‘Progress’ in this sense is the flow of the ‘inevitable’, that which has been set in motion by previous causes, which is conflated with Time itself. To turn against the motions of the present is to turn against time and progress. To come to a stop. In stopping, if one is inclined, the underpinning of forward, progressive motion can be examined. I would suggest that this is really where a countervaling ‘work’ is possible. Yet it leads into a cauldrom of unending questions: What is progress? I’ve been set in motion – toward what exactly? What pushed me? what gives energy to my forward motion?

    So, you will I think likely see that ‘religion’ has to be taken at another level. The motives are ‘religious’ if we understand religion as reigning metaphysic. (What is and what should be). Additionally, if we understand that religion, and metaphysics, is in an astounding and a literal chaos, and that people are caught up in it like in a tumbling wave they do not in any sense understand, nor can define, such perspectives could only arise in that ‘stopped’ person. (The person who has come to a stop).

  15. Otto

    Jack, I agree. All of us “should exercise discretion, common sense, mutual respect, and periodic self-sacrifice and inconvenience for the greater good”. Of course, this includes the .03% of us as well as the other 99.97% of us. It sounds like you’re invoking the golden rule.

    The comments to this post are a combination of heartbreaking, inspirational, ill-informed, ridiculously-phobic, informative, and laden with bias (not all of these apply to all comments). The bathroom debacle (where there’s usually no bathing) is beyond me. In my brief fifty-two years, I have never had an uncomfortable bathroom experience due to the intrusion of women, men that look like women, men that act like women, gay men, or any combination thereof. Perhaps my white male privilege protects me from such things. Or, perhaps, like Neil Dorr, I’ve been “too occupied with my own biological functions in bathrooms to worry or care about” those of others. Early in my present employment, I did encounter a trio of elderly gentlemen dressing in women’s clothing in the male restroom. I thought it was amusing, and later found out that they were dressing for a photo shoot next door for a youth fundraising endeavor. Perhaps my experience is not sufficiently urban. For me, it’s a non-issue, and certainly not worthy of any type of legislation. The closest I’ve come to discomfort outside of a bathroom was a brute of a man with large hands, pert tits, and lipstick that served me a cup of coffee in San Francisco. Yes, it was memorably creepy, but not hauntingly so.

    I won’t presume to imagine the real and actual experiences of women. Ladies, how often has the intrusion of a man, woman that looked like a man, woman that acted like a man, lesbian, or any combination thereof interrupted whatever it was you were doing in the bathroom? I suspect not all that often, though, I do reserve the privilege of being proven incorrect. Is the situation a non-issue and unworthy of legislation?

    Zoebrain, you’ve apparently taken the wise counsel of knowing your enemies. I am not so wise. As conservative as I may be, I am not familiar with the Family Research Council (FRC), and I’m too lazy to do further research. Assuming your portrayal is accurate, they do some damaging work. However, even if I disagree with what the FRC does generally, I still agree that any government document accurately portraying sex/gender at birth should not be changed at a later time due to whim, surgery, or political correctness. In any case, you are one of the very few people that have a legitimate stake in the outcome of these discussions. Comparatively, the rest of us are full of shit and really don’t count at all. It amazes me that such a “progressive” country as Australia would outlaw marriage for intersex persons – it boggles the mind. How do they know about or check these things out?

    Alizia, for the most part, your comments and arguments are insightful, relevant, clear, and thought provoking. I agree with most of your first comment. I find it difficult to agree or disagree with your musings in following comments. It seems you and I may make a common distinction between liberties and freedom. I do applaud your avoidance of using the word “metaphysical” for an entire week. This may sound to be in jest, but it is not. You have an incredible mind that can’t help but tend toward the metaphysical. Please try to stay grounded – there’s nothing out there in metaphysical world except imagination and conjecture.

    Opening up to my own views (and worldwide ridicule), I don’t care if a person wants to dress like, act like, pretend to be, or otherwise portray him or herself as one gender or another, or neither, or both. As long as it does not harm others (as in intentional fraud, not discomfort), a person should be free to behave as he or she wishes. However, the facts remain. While the liberals among us try to make a distinction, there is no distinction between gender and sex. They are the same thing. Yes, expression of gender is a social construct. Gender is not. Whether we like it or not, all of us are born either male, female, or (in rare cases) both male and female (with or without predominant gender features). Whatever the case, whatever we are born with is both our sex and gender. Whether he likes it or not, Bruce is a man. Regardless of surgery, desires, costumes, makeup, and media fanfare, any DNA test will tell you unequivocally that Bruce is as much a man now as we was when we was winning Olympic medals. He can think and want whatever he wants. However, if he actually believes he’s a woman, he’s delusional.

    As for those of us outside the social norm in any respect, we need to recognize our abnormality (in the statistical sense) quickly and as early in life as possible. Afterward, we must either adjust our behavior and/or our appearance, or accept the fact that we will be judged by our abnormal appearance and behavior. This is the reality of living among others, civil or not. This does not deny our humanity, and is a far cry better than living in nature where our abnormalities and frailties will be exterminated by exclusion, neglect, starvation, predators, or directly by our own parents upon birth. Society and civility give us a chance for survival (and expression) that is not present in nature. We should embrace it rather than abuse it. Of course, I am biased and speaking from my comfortable seat of white, male, heterosexual, able, middle-aged privilege. Accordingly, I expect my opinions to be ignored and dismissed.

    • zoebrain

      J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Jan;93(1):182-9
      A 46,XY mother who developed as a normal woman underwent spontaneous puberty, reached menarche, menstruated regularly, experienced two unassisted pregnancies, and gave birth to a 46,XY daughter with complete gonadal dysgenesis.

      ‘DNA’ doesn’t determine someone’s sex, any more than height does. Even though men are taller than women as a general rule, and only about half a million US males don’t have the usual 46,XY “male” chromosomes, and only a quarter of a million US women aren’t 46,XX.

      The International Olympic Committee abandoned genetic testing for sex nearly two decades ago, as it gave obviously absurd results.

    • zoebrain

      Whether we like it or not, all of us are born either male, female, or (in rare cases) both male and female (with or without predominant gender features).

      It’s a bit more.. Nuanced? Complicated? than that.

      Sexual Hormones and the Brain: An Essential Alliance for Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation Garcia-Falgueras A, Swaab DF Endocr Dev. 2010;17:22-35
      The fetal brain develops during the intrauterine period in the male direction through a direct action of testosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hormone surge. In this way, our gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and sexual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. However, since sexual differentiation of the genitals takes place in the first two months of pregnancy and sexual differentiation of the brain starts in the second half of pregnancy, these two processes can be influenced independently, which may result in extreme cases in trans-sexuality. This also means that in the event of ambiguous sex at birth, the degree of masculinization of the genitals may not reflect the degree of masculinization of the brain. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender identity or sexual orientation.

      Male–to–female transsexuals have female neuron numbers in a limbic nucleus. Kruiver et al J Clin Endocrinol Metab (2000) 85:2034–2041
      The present findings of somatostatin neuronal sex differences in the BSTc and its sex reversal in the transsexual brain clearly support the paradigm that in transsexuals sexual differentiation of the brain and genitals may go into opposite directions

      So Caitlyn Jenner was born with partly female anatomy. It’s then a philosophical question whether sex is rightly defined by mutable genital anatomy (in some cases, genital anatomical sex can reverse due to a variety of medical syndromes) or immutable set-before-birth brain anatomy.

      Science 1974 Dec 27; 186 (4170): 1213-5
      In an isolated village of the southwestern Dominican Republic, 2% of the live births were in the 1970’s, guevedoces… These children appeared to be girls at birth, but at puberty these ‘girls’ sprout muscles, testes, and a penis. For the rest of their lives they are men in nearly all respects. Their underlying pathology was found to be a deficiency of the enzyme, 5-alpha Reductase.

      Not “one in a million”. One in fifty, in some parts of the world. Much rarer in the USA though, or these debates wouldn’t arise. And people like myself, with 3-beta Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase deficiency – which can cause a reversal of genital sex in either direction – wouldn’t have to take this crap, to use the vernacular.

      The problem is that these facts make many uncomfortable.

      Obligatory Dr Who quote :
      You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common: they don’t alter their views to fit the facts; they alter the facts to fit their views, which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.

      • “You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common: they don’t alter their views to fit the facts; they alter the facts to fit their views, which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.”
        ___________________________

        http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/transgender-kids/jacobs-journey-life-transgender-5-year-old-n345131

      • valkygrrl

        Male–to–female transsexuals have female neuron numbers in a limbic nucleus. Kruiver et al J Clin Endocrinol Metab (2000) 85:2034–2041
        The present findings of somatostatin neuronal sex differences in the BSTc and its sex reversal in the transsexual brain clearly support the paradigm that in transsexuals sexual differentiation of the brain and genitals may go into opposite directions

        So Caitlyn Jenner was born with partly female anatomy. It’s then a philosophical question whether sex is rightly defined by mutable genital anatomy (in some cases, genital anatomical sex can reverse due to a variety of medical syndromes) or immutable set-before-birth brain anatomy.

        Disingenuous to the extreme.

        a: You called Caitlyn Jenner a transsexual. A pair of silicone breast implants do not a transsexual make. You know as well as I do that Jenner has not had SRS (that awful tuck in the photoshoot) and has not publicly stated any desire for such. That falls under the trans umbrella not transsexualism.

        b: The brain is plastic, it is known. All those people studied had undergone long term hormone therapy. Did they study brains of people who expressed a desire to transition but never had done it? They did not.

        c: The brain is plastic, it is known. Did they study the brains of short term transitioners or only people who had already been transitioned for a long period of time? You know the answer, the latter. It did not account for results of new socialization.

        d: This is a study of transsexuals, that’s not who you advocate for. You serve trans people, large umbrella. Nothing you show here gives any reason for special treatment of non-transsexual trans people even if the results did give the conclusions you try to represent.

        e: You have not thought through how this works against your ideology. Will you scan brains and then declare people not trans if their brains don’t show what you want? Will you deny someone who wishes to transition? Would you call Caitlyn Jenner a fraud? Of course you wouldn’t, you argument rests on the nebulous concept of gender identity. If someone claims it, we must trust it or else a dead children appeal to emotion shield.

        f: The concept of male and female brains is a repugnant justification for all the excesses of patriarchy. It’s okay because men are just like that and women are just like that. No, just no. I will not have oppression justified with biology, not in an industrial world. It was one thing to have a division of labor that limited the birthing segment of the population to things they could do with a baby on her hip because there was no other choice, I’ll accede to necessity, I won’t call it an innate female personality trait any more than I would call a propensity for wearing skirts a sign of female personality

        • zoebrain

          All those people studied had undergone long term hormone therapy.
          Nope.

          See (for example)
          White matter microstructure in female to male transsexuals before cross-sex hormonal treatment. A diffusion tensor imaging study
          – Rametti et al, J Psychiatr Res. 2010 Jun 8.

          Re: Brain plasticity:
          http://dana.org/Cerebrum/2014/Equal_%E2%89%A0_The_Same__Sex_Differences_in_the_Human_Brain/

          But wait,” argue the anti-sex difference authors, “the brain is plastic”-that is, molded by experience. One group of authors uses the word plasticity in the title of their paper three times to make sure we understand its importance.29 (As someone who has studied brain plasticity for more than 35 years, I find the implication that it never occurred to me amusing.) By the plasticity argument-also made explicitly by neuroscientist Lise Eliot in her book Pink Brain Blue Brain-small sex differences in human brains at birth are increased by culture’s influence on the brain’s plasticity.30 Eliot further argues that we can avoid “troublesome gaps” between the behaviors of adult men and women (a curious contradiction, by the way, of the view that there are no behavioral differences between the sexes) by encouraging boys and girls to learn against their inborn tendencies.

          It is critical to understand where the fallacies in this argument lie. First, it is false to conclude that because a particular behavior starts small in children and grows, that behavior has little or no biological basis. One has only to think of handedness, walking, and language to see the point. Second, this argument presupposes that human “cultural” influences are somehow formed independent of the existing biological predispositions of the human brain. But third, and most important, is the key fallacy in the plasticity argument: the implication that the brain is perfectly plastic. It is not. The brain is plastic only within the limits set by biology.

          To understand this critical point, consider handedness. It is indeed possible, thanks to the brain’s plasticity, to force a child with a slight tendency to use her left hand to become a right-handed adult. But that does not mean that this practice is a good idea, or that the child is capable of becoming as facile with her right hand as she might have become with her left had she been allowed to develop her natural tendencies unimpeded. The idea that we should use the brain’s plasticity to work against inborn masculine or feminine predispositions in the brains of children is as ill conceived as the idea that we should encourage left-handed children to use their right hand.

          29 Fine, C. et al. Plasticity, plasticity, plasticity. . . and the rigid problem of sex, Trends in Cognitive Sciences November 2013, Vol. 17, No. 11.
          30 Eliot, L., Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow Into Troublesome Gaps — And What We Can Do About It, 2009; HMH Publishing.

          You have not thought through how this works against your ideology. Will you scan brains and then declare people not trans if their brains don’t show what you want?

          It’s not about Ideology. If Brain scans show that obviously Transsexual people do not have those neuro-anatomical characteristics we believe from evidence they do have, we alter our theories to fit the observed facts.

          That misunderstanding – that Science is a Religion, or that this is a Political and Ideological issue – is a really big problem.

          Look at my blog and you’ll see plenty of evidence over time where I have refined my ideas, and in rare instances, discarded whole intellectual constructs as no longer tenable in light of new data.

          We know our ideas are imperfect – the basic theory allows for no exceptions, and there’s exactly one on record. One is enough to show that while we may have things mostly right, in some ways we have it wrong.

          Male gender identity in complete androgen insensitivity syndrome T’Sion et al .Arch Sex Behav. 2011 Jun;40(3):635-8.

          It’s disappointing that this has not been followed up, as it’s these outliers, the things that don’t fit, that are key tools in making theory correspond more accurately with Reality.

          Ideologies such as Gender Theory and even Feminism have no such problems, as they’re not completely evidence-based, and in many cases, have no good evidenciary basis at all.

          OK, the outlier is Intersex rather than Trans, no exceptions have been found for Trans people, but that could well be because we haven’t looked hard enough. This one CAIS case very strongly suggests there will be exceptions we just haven’t found yet. Just not many of them.

    • zoebrain

      . Comparatively, the rest of us are full of shit and really don’t count at all.

      After much thought – someone is wrong on the Internet!! – I can’t let that one pass. Not even the brave attempt at defanging it with the word ‘comparatively’ can save it.

      Much as I would like to say I’m in some way more ‘worthy’ than anyone else, that’s obvious nonsense, and kinda dangerous too. I just feel Intersex and Trans people should have the same basic rights as Intersex and Cis ones. Yes, this affects me personally, but I’m just one person, and it would be extremely unethical – even sociopathic – to ignore the views of others without considering them. Everyone counts. I do feel though that causing even a few deaths deserves more weight in consideration than causing discomfort to many, especially when that discomfort is, at its roots, discomfort that someone even exists.

      I do wonder though at the primary target of this law – schoolchildren over age 7. It seems to me a bit of a stretch to say that a pervert could pretend to be an 8 yr old Trans girl, which is why 8 yr old Trans girls are all forbidden from using female restrooms. The logic here escapes me.

      • valkygrrl

        I do wonder though at the primary target of this law – schoolchildren over age 7. It seems to me a bit of a stretch to say that a pervert could pretend to be an 8 yr old Trans girl, which is why 8 yr old Trans girls are all forbidden from using female restrooms. The logic here escapes me.

        Disingenuous. This is based on parents refusing to let their special little snowflakes use the bathroom alone especially their darling little boys, because of the danger.

        So they take their children into the bathroom sexed for the parent. I can’t speak for how that works out in men’s rooms but it’s damn annoying and uncomfortable when there’s little boys running around the women’s.

    • valkygrrl

      Opening up to my own views (and worldwide ridicule), I don’t care if a person wants to dress like, act like, pretend to be, or otherwise portray him or herself as one gender or another, or neither, or both. As long as it does not harm others (as in intentional fraud, not discomfort), a person should be free to behave as he or she wishes. However, the facts remain. While the liberals among us try to make a distinction, there is no distinction between gender and sex. They are the same thing. Yes, expression of gender is a social construct. Gender is not.

      If you take away how someone presents themselves in appearance and behavior and the differing social expectations placed on male and females then what do you have left of gender that’s not a social construct?

      What are you left with if not sex alone?

  16. Hello there Otto. You have a positive and productive way of relating to the ideas of others which is, naturally, very welcome to any forum. To listen, to comment, to critique. Although you exaggerate in respect to me the exaggeration is appreciated.

    Let’s dwell for a brief second – it will appear irrelevant but I can see many reasons why it is not – on the word ‘Weltanschauung’. If you have any experience with Sanskrit (a deeply metaphysical language) you may understand that German terms often have similar depth and resonance. (You can get anywhere you desire to with English but it takes more effort, and more words.)

    Weltanschauung

    The word is often translated as ‘philosophy’ or ‘world-view’, but ‘welt’ meant originally not ‘earth’, nor the Kosmos, but mankind. What becomes obvious is that the only ‘welt’ (as world) that man’s ideation can roam in is a human world, and the only knowledge we can ever have is human knowledge and knowledge of the human. Put another way there can be and there is not any knowing that is independent of human knowing. Our Weltanschauungen then are projections, or representations, of whatever it is that we *are*. Brain? Spirit? Soul? Eye?

    How you, Otto, define ‘man’ will determine EVERYTHING that you will think, do, say, and certainly conclude in any subject, topic and domain. This is a very simple statement but it is akin to getting a fish to see the medium in which is floats along, as well as derives the very possibility of existing from.

    So, with the first element in the word we are immediately thrown back into the human world, man and his limits. ‘Absolute knowledge’ then is seen in a different light, and we instantaneously see that absolute systems are completely out of the question. Thus a great deal of emphasis is placed on the ‘-anschauung’ which means ‘intuitive perception’.

    But before one can advance any further one has to linger over the idea of knowledge. What is known? What can be known? “In truth all truth and wisdom rest finally on intuitive perception”. (Schopenhauer). When you really examine the issue, when you really think of what can be known and what is known and becomes known, it is clear that it is nothing more than Man looking in or out onto the ‘welt’ and arriving at intuitively achieved perception. I beg you to prove me wrong and, of course, you will not be able to. There is no objective, external knowledge, and yet we trick ourselves into thinking there is.

    If we have a Weltanschauung, and I suggest that it is just this which IS the human, makes the human, allows the human, everything depends on the quality of the Eye which is doing the seeing:

    This life’s dim windows of the soul
    Distorts the heavens from pole to pole
    And leads you to believe a lie
    When you see with, not through, the eye. (William Blake)

    I suggest to you, with the few allusions made here, that ‘seeing’ is the entire issue, and I further suggest that we are rapidly losing an ability, a capacity, to *see*. Note the following: Our systems of knowing, that is our very imagination, that spark of life and consciousness, that indescribable quality of consciousness, begin to imitate the machines (the Machine) that so dominate our lives. A Machine can gather facts and lay them out in categorical order, but it can never *see*. I assure you that I am referring to one of the most serious harms that could ever be perpretrated on man-as-spirit, and I futher assure you that to speak about this, to attempt to communicate it to others, in this and many other contexts, is not a vain and useless effort. As I say for something to be HEARD there must be a HEARER. For something to be seen, there must be an Eye.

    Eye am an I when I have gained a sense of my status. Eye am also a lamp of a special sort and I become real when Eye become bright.

    Any ‘looking upon’ our world is a metaphysical act. To say it is conjectural is in some sense meaningless, or perhaps it says everything that could ever be said? But when you suggest that ‘it is only imagination’ I would suggest that you have (as we all are asked, and sometimes forced to do …) fallen into a trap. You spoke of ‘darkness’ and ‘light’ a few times, yet you did not elaborate. True, this is a blog of ethics not metaphysics, but really when one penetrates ethic one always discovers, somewhere, the need for a definition of man, and then everything else. I assure you that the term ‘metaphysic’ is not irrelevant. It is just not common.

    In order to be able to salvage from the ruins of modernity the crashed religious structures, it is required a fall-back into a metaphysical way of understanding *seeing*.

    OK, I’ll stop. Laugh if you will. Laugh, world!

    The seer has to see, and the seer has to improve himself as insturument of seeing. I assure you that this work is spiritual, is interior, is not dependent on an addiction to phenomena but in a real sense on a forgoing of phenomenal dependency (insofar as this is possible). I futher suggest to you that, and for various reasons, ‘America’ (the conglomeration of persons who will toss up an opinion on something, anything, in a crowd, at the supermarket, on a forum, in the editorial of your local newspaper: everywhere and anywhere) is becoming a creature devoid of ‘higher metaphysical’ capacity to see. Our religious obsessions, when they still exist, are crude distortions of whatever it is that we mean when we speak of ‘reigious truth’. In the collapse of an ‘imagined world’ if there is not a newer version of Imagining, one has the very ground of the human taken from one, and that one similarly collapses.

    What is the link to gender and identity questions? It is the backdrop to this and so many other questions and problems that has to be taken into consideration (IMHO) while one discusses the purely contingent incidents and incidentals of our political and social life. If you want me, now, to make some sort of far-reaching and summarizing statement I will admit to a certain loss in being able to do so. Except that the more that we become dependent on external identity, and indeed local definition, limited definition, a focus on the immediate and the contingent, doing so we lose sight of …

    Well, what is it that we lose sight of?

    In all spiritual systems that I am aware of (the essences of the religious) there is the propsect of independence in mind, in spirit and consciousness, from the external vagaries. To live with and out of Idea is the key to every attainment that we hold up as valuable.

    [The Alizia-bot eminates these verbal arrangements from a LEO (low earth orbit) 150 km above the surface of the ‘welt’. True, it is all pretentious and ridiculous but no harm is meant].

    Over-and-out.

    • zoebrain

      150km is pretty darned low for LEO. Even at 800km we only got less than 25 minutes over a tracking station per orbit on FedSat.

      Sorry, I *am* a Rocket Scientist.

      • Let’s examine the metaphor:

        “Objects below 99 mi/160 km are considered to be below “Low Earth Orbit”. Atmospheric dragging causes rapid orbital decay and lost of altitude. More than simple station keeping can accommodate.

        “If “station keeping” means constant thrust in order to counter-act atmospheric dragging, and your vessel can withstand the friction-generated heat, then you could have a “stable” orbit well inside the atmosphere.

        “Also keep in mind that elliptical orbits are entirely possible, dipping briefly below the LEO altitude, provided you have station keeping. Without some guidance on what constitutes “normal station keeping”, it would be hard to list a number for this lowest point in such an orbit.”
        _________________________

        I CAN stand the friction-generated heat, I really can. I WILL (someday) find a stable orbit ‘well inside the atmosphere’. Yet I must confess that aphelion though terrifying sometimes, has as many attractions for me as parhelion.

        I did not mention it but I do have an elliptical orbit. I suppose I should have mentioned that aspect.

        😉

  17. And… Here come the lawsuits.
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/dominicholden/nc-anti-lgbt-law-lawsuit#.avy47p4ke8

    Please have a read of the complaint, as it gives good examples of the kind of effects this bill – rushed through with breakneck speed – has.

  18. I knew if I looked long enough I’d find it. Here is another conversation on the general topic, it’s a “good” read.

    An old Army buddy of mine that was part of the conversation forwarded this conversation to me after the conversation was over.

    Zoe,
    Now you know why I asked you a while ago if you were the same Zoe Brian from madison.com.

    • zoebrain

      It’s “Brain” not “Brian”, but yes, that is me. Don’t worry about the spelling error in my name, I make such mistakes too, and try not to be a hypocrite about it by holding others to a different standard from my own.
      We try to get it right. Sometimes we fail. No great drama.

      • Zoe,
        Yup, I inverted the “i” and the “a”, it was a completely unintentional misreading. Please accept my sincere apology.

        • zoebrain

          Apology accepted with grateful thanks. I can only hope that I match your graciousness when I too make such minor errors.

          Looking at it.. my style in debate is fairly distinctive, isn’t it? Even without the name as a clue. It was a good quality debate too, not entirely free of invective, ad-hominems and unhelpful points-scoring, but in the main a respectful exchange of views. Ahead of the pack.

          My regards to your Old Army Buddy, and I hope he found my comments informative – whether he agrees or disagrees.

          • Yes, your style is unmistakable especially when it comes to this particular topic.

            I won’t comment on that old discussion.

            I won’t share anything he said about the conversation after the fact in a personal conversation between friends that would be wrong.

            • zoebrain

              His views are immaterial for these purposes, please give him my best regards -er – regardless.

              Your own actions in refusing to breach confidentiality are entirely ethical, and what I’d expect from you.

              Thank you (both) for your service.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s